Things I did between 2004 and 2006: Moved to Pennsylvania, got a graduate degree, and fell in love.
That wasn’t the plan from the start (well, certainly not the “falling in love” part). And no, I’m not recounting how I met my wife, Felicia (that’s another story), but instead, how I came to love a lizard named Sid.
Attending class from 6-9 p.m. at night with nothing to do during the day besides write and read novel upon novel was not as enjoyable as it sounds, even for a bibliophile like me. In fact, it was downright boring at times. Seeking a little adventure and a roommate, I took a trip to the pet store. I wasn’t allowed to have cats or dogs, but the landlord never said anything about reptiles. I had my eye on a bearded dragon until Felicia explained to me how large they get, so instead I downsized, and got a leopard gecko, or a Leo as they are often called.
I was drawn to Leos by their interesting colors. As a baby, mine was striped brown and a faint yellow; as a five-year-old adult, he now has a stronger High-Yellow color morph, as seen in the photo. I named my first leopard gecko Sid, after Siddhartha, the Herman Hesse protagonist. The first few months together I learned a lot about Leo care. I learned that Sid didn’t like being held (and in my experience, most Leos don’t), and that he must have thought he could fly, because anytime I did take him out he would “jump” from my hand to the carpeted floor 5 feet below in a not-so-graceful manner. That taught me quickly the finer aspects of handling a Leo, and why I would suggest you research such matters before trying the same for yourself.
In future posts, I’ll share some of my experiences with Sid and my new Leo, Fuzzy Herman, so stick around…since a Leo can’t! OK, terrible joke, I know. But it reveals an interesting fact about Leos that separates them from most other geckos, one that I’ll discuss next time.